WEBSTER, N.Y. (WROC) – The Webster volleyball team is one of two boys Section V squads headed to Albany this weekend in hopes of bringing home a state championship.
It’s been a dominant run to the state final four for the Lakers as they currently hold a 22-1 record. En route to Albany, Webster grabbed their first sectional title since 1996.
“My phone blew up,” Webster boys volleyball coach Greg Kennedy said. “Absolutely blew up on Thursday. When I say 300 texts from different people. I’m not being hyperbolic it was that many.”
The Lakers teams of the 1990s grabbed bricks in that decade alone. Long before any of the current student-athletes were alive. So the current players understand the magnitude of Webster’s return to glory.
“I cried a lot when we won,” Webster senior outside hitter Evan Lukasiewicz said. “So, it meant a lot to me. I’m sure it meant a lot to the team I know it did. Meant a lot to my parents. Meant a lot to my family.”
This fall was the first season the Lakers advanced to the sectional round since the dynastic 1990s. Let alone actually win the championship. The players on the team realized this team had the potential to be historic before the season even began.
“I knew the team was special ever since tryouts started,” Lukasiewicz said. “We had like 25 something kids tryout. That’s probably the most it’s ever been in 10 years or so. So we knew we had the talent in the beginning.”
“I think it’s the team chemistry,” Webster senior libero Zachary Zian said. “A lot of us played club together so we know each other well. Pretty much all year we’re around each other.”
In the Class A Far West Regionals, Webster faced Orchard Park out of Section VI. However, it wasn’t smooth sailing for the Lakers as they dropped the first set of the match.
“We’ve actually never lost a first set all season we’ve never been in that position,” Zian said. “We were telling each other we have to come back harder and have better energy.”
The Lakers stepped on the gas grabbing the next three sets in convincing fashion. Webster is off to the state final four in hopes of securing their third state title in program history.
“I feel like it would be nice for Webster to get a state championship,” Zian said. “I know Thomas hasn’t got one in a long time for any sport. But it’d be very nice.”
Kennedy has been the Webster boys volleyball coach for the past 33 years and was the head man in charge of the Lakers last state title run. In the 1990s, the Lakers went 2-2 during their state tournament runs.
“It means everything for Section V,” Kennedy said. “We are carrying a banner for our friends across Section V and we don’t want to let them down.”
Webster begins pool play at the Albany Capital Center on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. If they were to advance out of the pool play, the state championship is set for 3:00 p.m. the same day.